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Old 01-24-2014, 12:22 AM   #1
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Hi I just bought a new 2014 Jayco Swift SLX 184 BH Baja. This is the first RV I have owned. Does anyone else have this edition? What are your thoughts? I really like the flipped axles to keep the plumbing drains up higher so you don't knock them off in the bush. I had the local dealer add a 150 Watt solar panel with a charge controller. I also had them install two deep cycle 6 volt batteries in series. Is the solar panel enough for charging? I know I can't use my ac or microwave without a inverter but if I am dry camping in the bush this does not matter to me.

I am pulling this trailer with a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 4.7 liter. I like this trailer because of the weight is so light and it wont cause my truck to work too hard. I looked at the max towing for my truck with the gear ratio of 3.55 and 4.7 L engine to have a 5800 pound towing capacity. This trailer will be max 3500 pounds. This also gives me the space for payload in the box of the truck. I am hoping this will be a good set up. I don't want a large trailer when I go camping because I am usually outside most of the time. My wife wanted the trailer to make her life easier. I have two young boys and I want them to be outdoors more. We took them camping last year in Drumheller and it rained so hard and we were in our tent, my wife could not sleep due to the thunder and lightning being right on top of us. My boys and I were sound asleep. That was the last tent trip for my wife she wanted a trailer for this year so she got one! The Jaycos look like they are pretty solid trailers. I like the fact that they use screws instead of nails to hold everything together. I haven't picked up the trailer yet but I will have it on Saturday.

The first thing I am going to do to the trailer is get rid of the cheesy scotch lock wire connectors and solder and shrink tube the connections for a reliable connection that wont ever come loose. Then I am going to use truck bed liner to cover and protect the frame from rock chips. I was also told by my dealer to drill some 1/4 inch holes in the bottom of my battery boxes to drain water that gets in through the vents in the battery box. I am also going to change all of the interior light bulbs to LED bulbs so I don't use so much power with the lights. My wife has already started to buy all the nick nacs for the trailer. She wants to put lights around the awning too.

We live close to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta so there are alot of good camping sites in Alberta and BC that are close for a quick get away.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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You have a nice setup for boondock camping....plenty of extra payload (and towing) capacity for water, extra batteries, larger propane tank, generator and some toys. They only thing you'll find wanting is black tank capacity (9 gallons fills up fast). Find a workaround for that and you'll be golden.

Welcome to JOF and enjoy the new rig.....[ATTACH][/ATTACH]
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:40 AM   #3
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Welcome fellow Albertan!
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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Congratulation on the new addition and welcome!
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. You have many years of great camping experiences waiting for you. Enjoy.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #7
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Welcome from another newbie to the forum and fellow westerner. Here's to years of fun.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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Looks like you have a nice setup for boondocking. My recommendation is once you are ready for your first trip go to a traditional CG close to home. Get a site without power or any hookups. Try out all your gizmos and see how long the batteries last, how to utilize your water consumption, as you need to learn to conserve your water supply. Make sure to have a note pad to write down all the things you need to add that you forgot. This will also get just a few miles of driving under your belt. If you are not familiar with towing you might have a little white knuckle syndrome for your first trip or two.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:13 PM   #9
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Congrats and welcome to JOF from Northeast Ohio. I agree with Jagiven, sounds like you are well on your way to having a good setup for boondocking. The only suggestion I would have is to get a site with Electric for your first time out, but do not use it. This will give you a backup in the event your batteries do not last as long as you think.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heady View Post
Congrats and welcome to JOF from Northeast Ohio. I agree with Jagiven, sounds like you are well on your way to having a good setup for boondocking. The only suggestion I would have is to get a site with Electric for your first time out, but do not use it. This will give you a backup in the event your batteries do not last as long as you think.
I have a decent amount of boondocking experience. But it is not setup as nicely as Junkers12. Our first trip with our HTT, was for three day weekend at a SP, with no hookups. At the time we still had incandescent lights in the unit a single group 24 dual purpose battery (still have that battery). I talked a little about power consumption with the DW and kid, but did not push the issue. I let them use as much DC power as they wanted. About mid morning on day two the battery was done for. I plugged the TV in and ran that truck for about 30 minutes and got a decent charge. That evening the same thing happened, battery was weak again. Plugged in the TV and ran it for about an hour (it was raining and I was in no hurry to go out and unplug it). That final charge got us through the rest of the weekend. When we had run low on power, the wife and kid started turning off lights, started listening to me about only running the light s that are needed and to only turn on one of the two lights in the ceiling fixtures, as they where worried about not having enough power for the pump or the refrigerator. Now with a little learning and LED lights, we can go out on three day weekends using some heat and only needing the one small battery with no external charges. If I do not need heat, we have been out for 5 days on that single group 24 battery. If we are out for any amount of time without any hookups, I carry a second group 27 battery in the back of the TV that I can switch over to as needed. Done it, but rarely ever need to.
It is also very surprising how fast you use water. For example when off the grid, to wash our hands we turn on the water long enough to get them wet, to turn it off, soap up, turn the water on long enough to rinse. Dishes are done about the same way, with four of us we can go for about 4-5 days on a single fill of our 29 gallon FW tank (no showers in the unit).

With Junkers12 setup and a little learning he should be fine, until he wants the AC or microwave. The key for me is the learning curve not just in electrical use but with water usage.
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